Sunday, May 26, 2013

Burned Out or Fired Up?

Do you enjoy your work? Are you fired up about your vocation or job? Do you spend 8 to 12-hour days, doing what you love to do? Do you get to use your gifts and talents to earn a living?

Or are you burned out? Completely unfulfilled? Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and getting nowhere in your career or job? While you’re at work, do you dream about doing something else for a living?
I’m in both places. I’m mostly in the 2nd scenario. I’m pretty miserable at my job. I spend ten-hour days in an office, four days a week. I’ve worked for the same entity for almost 16 years. My positions have changed. I’ve moved to different offices. Sometimes I’ve enjoyed my job, other times I’ve been very stressed out. Lately I feel burned out, useless, like I don’t care, and constantly hate being cooped up in a square room that’s called an office, all day, every day. At the same time I’m grateful to have kept a job during such hard times. But how I feel while at work is still very real.

Then there’s the other scenario. I have a couple of passions: Writing and single-parent ministry. I’m pursuing both. I spend my days off from my job, writing and building a non-profit ministry to single parents. On those days, I’m fired up, thoroughly enjoying what I’m doing and experience great fulfillment. I’ve whined and complained to God about why can’t I do what I love full time and leave the job that I hate? I believe He says I can, but the timing isn’t here yet.
I know God will eventually release me from the “cage” when I’ve matured and grown all that I can there. I also need to hone my writing skills and educate myself using the endless opportunities and resources God provides. Only He can open the door and move me forward. The struggle is intense though and waiting is hard. I believe this time will not be a waste. I also know it isn’t all about me and He has me where I am for His purposes and I should do all I do as unto the Lord.

Which scenario are you in? Burned out or fired up? Share it below.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Something about the Daisy

Sometimes God has a way of getting my attention that I know without a doubt it’s Him. This morning it was finding a single wild daisy during my rush to leave for work. Every morning it’s the same scenario; rushing out the door because I’ve spent too much time journaling again and I’m late.

We have a drive gate at the end of our driveway where you have to stop the car, get out and open the gate, get back in the car, drive through, then get out again and close the gate before leaving. As I leaned into the driver’s side after closing the gate, I saw the daisy alone in the mix of tall grass and weeds. I looked further down the weed-lined driveway and saw a cluster of more wild daisies and wondered why this one was alone in the weeds. God used this simple, insignificant wildflower to grab my attention in response to my journaling that morning. When I bent down to pick the wildflower, I felt His familiar tug as He spoke to my heart.

My journaling that morning was mostly whining to God about my struggle over the lack of time I have to follow my passion and dream of writing full time and building the non-profit, single-parent ministry I have on the side. I want it to be the other way around; writing and single-parent ministry full time, with a part-time job on the side.

While I believe God is moving me in that direction, I’ve complained about the lack of time I have to invest in a writing career and in the time it takes to raise funds and build a ministry. I feel stuck while waiting for the perfect circumstances that I now know will never be. God has been showing me that I need to do at least one thing each day, no matter how small, to move me in that direction and get unstuck. Each small step will eventually get me where I need to be so I can be released, but it’s not going to happen if I sit back waiting for the “right time”.

My job is not at all fulfilling and requires long, ten-hour days, four days a week. While I’m very thankful, I feel like a caged tiger looking out at all the things I was created to chase after. When I get home every night, I’m too tired to do anything but eat, shower and go to bed. God used the lone, wildflower to assure me that He heard my heart that morning, has noticed the small steps I’ve taken towards my dream, and is working to move me in that direction. The daisy represented “freedom” to me and God’s way of letting me know I’m headed in the right direction. As a new writer, getting ready to self-publish my first book, I took this now meaningful daisy to work with me as a reminder and encouragement.

What about you? Is there something God has given you a passion for that you feel you have no time to do? You may wonder why He’s given you this dream, vision or desire if you have no time to pursue it. Share how you may be dealing with the same issue.



Sunday, May 12, 2013

To All Single Moms

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day is full of pleasant, simple things. I hope it is less stressful than what I’m sure the rest of your days can be. Being a single mom is the toughest job ever. I know, because I walked that road too. My kids are grown. The physical part of raising them is over. I remember being told when they were younger that it gets harder when they’re grown. I thought, how could it be harder when they're grown? I didn’t truly understand what they meant until now.

I’m no longer responsible for the day-to-day care and responsibilities of raising them. What I have to do now is release them to the care and control of God. The concern and worry is different. For me personally, I now have heartache and sorrow due to lost hopes and dreams that are sometimes too much to bear. I also have deep joy and gratitude for God's grace and blessings as I trust my grown children to Him.

My children are now 32 and 26. My 32-year old son is in a men’s home somewhere, I don’t even know where. My 26-year old daughter lives close by and is married. She has worked very hard overcoming obstacles to complete her teaching degree. Now that she's grown and married, our changing relationship is fun and exciting. I'm very proud of her and excited for what the future holds for us. My mother is in a nursing home. My relationship with her has become quite difficult and sad as her health has declined over the past few years.

To be honest, Mother's Day is a very bittersweet day for me with tons of mixed emotions. It was easier when my children were little and they brought me burnt toast and runny eggs for breakfast in bed, the best present ever! I'm so thankful to be able to give my emotions to Jesus and not become overtaken by them. He always provides the comfort I need on days like today.

What about you? Will your day full of good things as you spend time with your children and maybe your own mother? Or will it be bittersweet for you too? Whichever it is, there is one thing I know for sure: the Lord is with us in whatever place we’re in. He has been with me through all my single mom experiences and is with me today as I strive to turn the care and well being of my kids over to Him. I am learning that however deep the pain or scars, there is nothing beyond His deepest, healing touch.

He knows when your heart hurts and when your heart is joyful and is right there in it with you. So, however your Mother’s Day turns out to be, let’s just focus on that truth. That’s what I’m going to do. There is no comfort any greater than what can be found in Him.

To all you single moms out there, today I pray our Father pours out on you, His richest blessings that only come from Him. Come talk to me at the watering well.

In His grip,